Characterization of variation and quantitative trait loci related to terpenoid indole alkaloid yield in a recombinant inbred line mapping population of Catharanthus roseus
Improved Catharanthus roseus cultivars are required for high yields of vinblastine, vindoline and catharanthine and/or serpentine and ajmalicine, the pharmaceutical terpenoid indole alkaloids. An approach to derive them is to map QTL for terpenoid indole alkaloids yields, identify DNA markers tightly linked to the QTL and apply marker assisted selection. Towards the end, 197 recombinant inbred lines from a cross were grown over two seasons to characterize variability for seven biomass and 23 terpenoid indole alkaloids content-traits and yield-traits. The recombinant inbred lines were genotyped for 178 DNA markers which formed a framework genetic map of eight linkage groups (LG), spanning 1786.5 cM, with 10.0 cM average intermarker distance. Estimates of correlations between traits allowed selection of seven relatively more important traits for terpenoid indole alkaloids yields. QTL analysis was performed on them using single marker (regression) analysis, simple interval mapping and composite interval mapping procedures. A total of 20 QTL were detected on five of eight LG, 10 for five traits on LG1, five for four traits on LG2, three for one trait on LG3 and one each for different traits on LG three and four. QTL for the same or different traits were found clustered on three LG. Co-location of two QTL for biomass traits was in accord of correlation between them. The QTL were validated for use in marker assisted selection by the recombinant inbred line which transgressively expressed 16 traits contributory to the yield vinblastine, vindoline and catharanthine from leaves and roots that possessed favourable alleles of 13 relevant QTL.